The Rangers have 10 games left in the regular season — and just four at Madison Square Garden.
That leaves the best road team in the league four games to figure out how to duplicate that success on Broadway. It’s been a problem they’ve been unable to solve throughout the season.
“We’ve got to win a couple there and get the feeling of it in our building,” Marc Staal said following Monday’s practice. “On the road, we find ways to win. We have to bring that mentality into our games at home. We got away from that at some point and we’ve got to get back to it.”
That starts Wednesday, when they host the Islanders after Tuesday’s match against the Devils in Newark.
The Rangers play four of their next five away from MSG. On the road they are a league-best 26-9, while only 19-15-3 at home. Worse, they’ve lost six straight at home since beating the Capitals on Feb. 19.
And while Staal is concerned about the odd dichotomy, he believes the veteran-laden team will figure it out when it counts.
“In the playoffs, you kind of throw everything out,” Staal said. “Both good and bad. It’s a new season, so I’m not too stressed about it. We just have to do it.”
Alain Vigneault praised the play of Pavel Buchnevich on Sunday against Minnesota, playing alongside Jimmy Vesey and Oscar Lindberg.
“He played well the last game,’’ the coach said. “There’s a little consistency issue, but you could say the same thing for all players at some point. Some players have earned a little bit more rope. In Pavel’s case, he’s a young player and he needs to play. He’s learning the game. Every time he comes back, he seems to understand a little bit more. He’s a good player and we need to make sure we make this work.”
Vigneault said he intends to keep the line together against the Devils.
“I liked the energy they brought,” Vigneault said. “They battled extremely well on the ice.”
Vigneault said the Rangers need to do a better job of stopping Travis Zajac’s line on Tuesday: “The last time we played them, that was the best line on the ice. They had numerous scoring chances. …” … Ryan McDonagh didn’t skate Monday due to a “maintenance day,” but is expected to play Tuesday.